Big chunk of space junk misses space station

Sep 04, 2009 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer
An image taken from NASA video shows a spacewalker Christer Fuglesang holding an old amonia tank outside the International Space Station during a spacewalk of the STS-128 mission Thursday, Sept. 3, 2009. (AP Photo/NASA TV)

(AP) -- A big piece of space junk safely sped by the international space station and shuttle Discovery, missing by less than a mile.

The astronauts were still asleep Friday when the old rocket part, measuring 15 feet around, passed by. NASA had been monitoring the situation and decided that it was unlikely to be a problem, so controllers did not move the station-shuttle complex.

Astronauts went ahead with a Thursday night to install a new fully loaded tank of space station coolant.

The near-miss was at 11:07 a.m. EDT. NASA officials said the closest it was to the astronauts was about 4,200 feet - about 14 football fields.

---

On the Net:

: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/main/index.html

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Rosetta's lander Philae will target Site J

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA analyzing junk that could threaten astronauts

Sep 02, 2009

(AP) -- A piece of space junk was drifting toward the shuttle-station complex and its 13 astronauts Wednesday, though NASA officials said the threat would not delay an upcoming spacewalk.

Spacewalkers tackle hefty tank removal in orbit

Sep 01, 2009

(AP) -- A pair of spacewalkers successfully tackled a hefty tank removal job at the international space station Tuesday as their crewmates unloaded comedian Stephen Colbert's namesake treadmill for all "those ...

Truss Work, Spacewalk Preps on Tap Today

Oct 29, 2007

The Space Shuttle Discovery and International Space Station crews are using the station and shuttle robotic arms to move the P6 truss segment and preparing for Tuesday’s spacewalk, the third of the mission. The crews will ...

Recommended for you

India's spacecraft 'on target' to reach Mars

11 hours ago

An Indian spacecraft is on course to reach Mars, an official said Monday, following a 666-million-kilometre voyage that could see New Delhi's low-cost space programme win Asia's race to the Red Planet.

Rosetta's lander Philae will target Site J

13 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Rosetta's lander Philae will target Site J, an intriguing region on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko that offers unique scientific potential, with hints of activity nearby, and minimum risk ...

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

jsa09
not rated yet Sep 05, 2009
looks like we should start measuring everything in football fields - forget metric we will have the new measure of footballia.

Just wish I new how big a football field was - the footballia is no help to me at all.
adam_shegrud
not rated yet Sep 05, 2009
looks like we should start measuring everything in football fields - forget metric we will have the new measure of footballia.



Just wish I new how big a football field was - the footballia is no help to me at all.



smartass!

:)
earls
not rated yet Sep 07, 2009
How long until the first space junk death? Is that when we start doing something about it?